Chloe Kim Gets Set for Gold | Women’s 2018 Olympic Snowboard Halfpipe Qualifer

The event gave us our first look at Pyeongchang's pipe in action

If the dizzying variety of lines in the slopestyle has left you reeling, then the halfpipe will be just the tonic. The world’s best female pipe riders will be dropping in to the exact same stunt ditch, albeit with no less opportunites to showcase the creative side of snowboarding. And if it’s heart-in-mouth moments you’re after, no other discipline at PyeongChang 2018 comes close.

“Chloe Kim has been utterly dominant in the women’s pipe”

It’s been a great games for the Americans so far, and if things go as we expect them to then they’ll add another gold here. Of all the snowboard events at Pyeongchang, none seem like as much of a foregone conclusion as this one; Chloe Kim has been utterly dominant in the women’s pipe, and the only concievable way that anyone else will win is if she has an off day. Even her safety run is enough to win golds, so it’s hers to lose.

That’s not to say that it won’t be a good event packed with talent. Kelly Clark is back for an impressive fifth Olympics, and isn’t here to make up the numbers. While it’s unlikely she’ll add to her 2002 gold medal, she’s definitely capable of hitting the podium.

As well as the rest of the Americans (Maddie Mastro and Arielle Gold), other riders to look out for are Spanish veteran Queralt Castallet, China’s Liu Jaiyu, and the French combo of Mirabelle Thovex and Sophie Rodriguez.

12 of the 24 will go through to tomorrow’s final, so don’t be surprised to see some riders playing it safe. That’s no bad thing, though; expect style to be heavily favoured over technicality.


In utterly un-shocking news, Chloe Kim bossed her first run, scoring a 91.5. In run two she stepped it up to a 95.5, cementing her position as heavy favourite. The slo mo showed she’d missed a double grab attempt on her cab 7, but her McTwist and front 9 tailgrab were as strong as ever. She’s just in a different league.

  1. Chloe Kim (USA) – 95.50
  2. Liu Jaiyu (CHN) – 87.75
  3. Haruna Matsumoto (JPN) – 84.25
  4. Maddie Mastro (USA) – 83.75
  5. Queralt Castallet (ESP) – 71.50
  6. Cai Xuetong (CHN) – 69.00
  7. Sena Tomita (JPN) – 66.75
  8. Emily Arthur (AUS) – 66.50
  9. Sophie Rodriguez (FRA) – 65.00
  10. Mirabelle Thovex (FRA) – 64.25
  11. Kelly Clark (USA) – 63.25
  12. Arielle Gold (USA) – 62.75

There was visible disappointment on the faces of Japan’s Hikaru Oe and Switzerland’s Verena Rohrer, who both came close but didn’t quite make the cut.

Meanwhile Arielle Gold held her nerve to improve her first run position of 22nd. Her second attempt was fairly safe towards towards the end – all cripplers and methods – but her score of 62.75 snuck her into the qualifying spots.

It ment a nervy time of it for her and Kelly Clark, who were both in danger of being bumped out of the final, but both Americans hung on in the end.

“In the battle for silver, Liu Jaiyu and Haruna Matsumoto will be definite contenders”

Up close with Chloe Kim’s front 9

In the battle for silver, it looks like Liu Jaiyu and Haruna Matsumoto will be definite contenders. Despite easily doing enough with her first run to make the finals, China’s premier pipe rider stepped up in run 2 and was sailing high above the lip.

She eventually became unstuck, but not before showing Chloe that she had more in the tank. Meanwhile Haruna landed her run on both attempts, so consistency is on her side.

Maddie Mastro wasn’t farr off the pace either, ensuring that all four Americans will be in tomorrow’s final – check back to see how things turn out.

Maddie Mastro enters the Matrix

Suffering from a real bad case of Olympic fever? You’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve joined forces with Ubisoft, the folks behind ‘Steep: Road To The Olympics’, to provide you with the very best coverage of the PyeongChang action.

While many of us will never even get close to attempting a switch triple cork 1440 Octo grab in real life, thanks to the magic of video games, and in particular ‘Steep: Road To The Olympics’, that possibility is much closer than you think.

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